SALISBURY, MD---For Salisbury University freshman Sam Brown, building robots is an easy way to build a resume.
During the summer, the physics major won a bronze medal for electronics technology at the 49th SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) in Kansas City, MO. Some 5,600 students from across the nation competed in the week-long event.
“Sam’s strong family support and academic skills combined with his tech savvy know-how give him an advantage over other students entering engineering fields,” said David Miles, electronics teacher in Parkside High School’s Career and Technology Education (CTE) Program.
At NLSC, Brown took two exams and participated in three hands-on challenges. He was one of only two in his division to pass the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians test, earning the highest score and a $500 award. He also earned the Electronics Technicians Association’s Customer Service Specialist certification.
In addition, Brown soldered, built and tested circuits by reading and interpreting technical data sheets and schematics. He also earned the second highest score on troubleshooting 20 faults within an electronic system.
“Nationals was definitely foreboding at first, but it was a lot of fun,” said Brown, who won regional and state levels before advancing. “It showed me that I was actually good at all the stuff I’ve been training for."
At SU, Brown plans to specialize in microelectronics. Eventually, he hopes to pursue a career in robotics or engineering and ideally build robots for NASA.
Brown also hopes to mentor Parkside’s USFirst Robotics Team, which he led during his senior year. As captain, he helped design and create a 120-pound basketball playing robot in just six weeks for a mid-Atlantic competition against 63 other robots. The group finished 17th.
A Salisbury native, Brown is the son of Dr. Anita Brown, chair of SU’s Chemistry Department, and her husband, Sam, a retired carpenter.
NLSC rewards students for excellence, involves industry leaders in evaluation and offers training to meet employer needs. Parkside student Austin Vestal also won a bronze medal in NLSC’s mobile electronics installation division. For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.